Tuesday

Fun workouts to get you lean and mean!

I'll tell you in today's newsletter about the fun workout schedule I've been doing lately, and maybe it will give you some possible new ideas.  My personal plan might not be something you're interested in doing, but perhaps it gives you some ideas you can apply to your own schedule.  Just remember, although you should challenge yourself with your workouts, you should also choose things that are fun or enjoyable most of the time too.

I've been feeling amazing lately, and have been incorporating some really good variety in my workouts, while still progressing on many of the exercises.

Even though I was swamped with work last week and worked many long days, I managed to fit in a good workout every weekday.  Personally, I've come to the conclusion that I like to get at least some form of exercise 5-6 days a week, and I don't feel 100% without getting exercise at the end of each work day. 

Some people prefer mornings for their workouts, but I tend to prefer late afternoon or early evening as a good way to unwind after each work day.  And then my post-workout meal is a nice big dinner as a recovery meal!

As an example, here was my workout schedule last week, which I had a blast with...

Monday:

10 minutes of wind sprints on soccer field; 
20 minutes of "sprint swimming" in the pool.

For the 10 minutes of running sprints, these were ALL-OUT wind sprints at our local soccer field (probably about 5-6 sprints of 100 yards each at all-out intensity).  Remember that wind sprints are one of the BEST exercises for growth hormone release (aka, the youth hormone) in your body!

After that, I came back to our local outdoor pool and did about 20 minutes of swimming sprints. To clarify, "swimming sprints" are not running in a pool... what I mean by this is all-out intensity on normal swimming strokes... basically, swimming as fast as I possibly can across the pool, and then resting.

I call this "muscle swimming" and I do it in similar fashion to the running sprints, in that it's an all-out intensity swimming sprint and then 20-30 seconds of rest when I reach the other side of the pool.  Once I catch my breath, I do the next all-out swimming sprint.  I also try to get a good amount of muscular power into each swimming stroke, as opposed to just the typical casual swimming stroke.

This style of "sprint swimming" has a lot more benefits to your cardiovascular and muscular systems because you're challenging your body harder and in a variable fashion, and allowing it to rest in between exertions.  You train your heart rate in a MUCH wider range, thereby making it a lot stronger than just steady pace swimming at the same heart rate the whole time.  It's the exact same concept as jogging vs sprinting, and why I always talk about why sprinting is so much more beneficial to the body than jogging.

Sprint swimming has a higher metabolism-boosting effect in the hours after your workout than steady pace swimming does.


Tuesday:


45 minutes of weight training strength lifts

This was my designated weight lifting day.  Because I'm active with outdoor activities in the summer, I've been doing only 1 day per week of actual heavy weight training in order to maintain good strength and lean muscle mass, maxed out bone density, and the metabolism-boosting benefits that weight training gives. 

I focused this workout mostly on deadlifts, bench presses, pullups, and rows to maintain my strength levels on all of the major strength lifts. 


Wednesday:

90 minute hike after work.

On this day, my girlfriend and I did an awesome 90 minute hike up and down a nearby mountain.  I love hiking mostly for the stress-relief benefits of just being out in nature.  It's very relaxing to me and helps clear my mind after a busy day.  Also, I think hiking is actually a significantly better workout than jogging or walking.  The reason is that hiking naturally has ups and downs making it more of an interval training workout rather than just a steady-pace jog.  In addition, hiking has a very variable surface of rocks, roots, and dirt that strengthens your stabilizer muscles in your ankles, feet, and knees better than just walking on asphalt.

Don't get me wrong, I think walking is great too, particularly for the benefit of just getting outside, stress relief, and as a very calm form of exercise.  Sometimes I do 15 minute walks outside as a great way to start my day in the morning. 

But if you're lucky enough to have good hiking trails somewhere in a reasonable distance of where you live, try to take advantage of those, as I feel the benefits of hiking far outweigh any possible benefits of jogging on pavement (which has the negative of repetitive use injuries and pounding your joints).


Thursday:

60 minute mountain bike ride after work.

Like hiking, not everybody has this available if you live in a very flat area, but if you do, it's such an amazing workout while also having a blast at the same time!

Mountain biking can be a super challenging form of interval training, depending on the ups and downs of the trails.  In some areas, long climbs to start the ride make it a very challenging workout in the first half of the ride while enjoying all downhill on the 2nd half of the ride.

Mountain biking also gives me more variety in my workouts since I'm doing sprinting, swimming, or lifting on other days of the week.  So it challenges your muscles and your heart in different ways than other exercises, making you stronger in many different aspects.


Friday:

10 minutes of high intensity kettlebell training; 
10 minutes of wind sprints; 
Light cool-down swimming in pool.

I LOVE these killer kettlebell workouts and I think they are one of the most effective forms of exercise to chisel your body lean, while also giving crazy cardiovascular benefits!

On this day, I really blasted the kettlebells hard (I've trained with kettlebells in my house for over 8 years now, and I love them!), and I kept the KB workout short and sweet finishing my whole body in 10 minutes.  I followed that up with 10 minutes of sprints at the local soccer field again, and then just did a light cool-down swim in the neighborhood pool after that.


The weekly workout design:

As you can see, I challenged my body with some form of exercise during each weekday this week, and because of the variety of forms and types of exercise, I didn't need full rest days in between workouts. 

The swimming doesn't affect the lifting performance the next day, and the lifting doesn't affect the hiking the next day, and the hiking doesn't affect the biking the next day.


Another powerful form of exercise I'm incorporating:

I never used to do this type of exercise my whole life, but in the last year, I've been convinced of it's benefits... And it works your body in a TOTALLY different way than lifting, sprinting, swimming, biking, or hiking. 

Yes, what I'm referring to here is yoga!  Most men avoid yoga thinking it's not "manly" in some way, but earlier this year, I finally gave it a shot, and I think it has some incredible benefits for BOTH men and women.  After all, you've probably heard that some of the toughest pro athletes these days incorporate yoga into their routines to help balance and improve their bodies.   I took about 6 weeks off recently from including yoga in my routine, but I'm adding it back starting next week as one of my days per week.

I've been researching types of yoga, and you HAVE to try this type below:

Unique type of yoga that reduces cortisol levels and belly fat (yes, for BOTH men and women)


You don't have to incorporate all of these types of exercises described in this email to get the body you want...Try different things for yourself and see what you get the best results with.  Today's email just simply showed you examples of what I'm doing to keep variety into my routines, keep exercise enjoyable and fun, and challenge myself.

I hope you're pumped and ready to get your best body yet this fall!

Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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